Monday, 22 March 2010

Brecklands

A beautiful spring day was the setting of our latest RSPB trip to the Brecks on Sunday.
First port of call was Santon Downham. Within minutes of arriving we discovered a party of Crossbills feeding in some Pine trees just up from the car park. Other birds in the area included some very vociferous Nuthatches, Goldcrests, a smart male Siskin that performed a diplay flight right around our heads and a noisy Jay. Two Muntjacs were seen close to the road near here.

Next stop was Mayday Farm. We arrived here about eleven o'clock just as the day was warming up, so after finding a clearing in the forest a Raptor Watch was called for.
First off three soaring Buzzards were seen, then another two. Several brief far off sightings of Sparrowhawks were had, before a then larger bird right in the distance was identified as a Goshawk.
Wandering further down the track, where Long tailed and Coal Tits were everywhere we found another clearing and were fortunate in flushing two birds that turned out to be Woodlarks. A male Crossbill posed nicely at the top of a leafless tree.
The spring sunshine obviously suited some early Butterflies as we saw, Brimstone, Red Amiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma.

The rest of the day was spent at Lynford Arboretum. Walking down towards the paddocks where we hoped to see some Hawfinches, more Crossbills, Goldcrests, Siskins showed well.
Down at the Paddocks we set up a vigil watching the group of trees in the middle of the field where both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen, also a very striking pure white with a few black spots, Cock Pheasant.
Then a bird suddenly appeared at the top of one of the Hornbeams - a stunning Hawfinch, which stayed just long enough for everyone to get a decent view before it flew off.
Back at the other side of the car park two new lakes have been created and these held several Ducks including Tufteds, Pochard, Mallard and Gadwall. Also an Egyptian Goose, Little Egret and a Curlew.

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